10 Minute Writer

Confessions of a Busy Mom Who Became an Independent Novelist

100 Things I Can’t Do, By Katharine Grubb

It’s time for you to judge me!

Naw, not really. But it is time for me to reveal to you some weaknesses and faults. There’s more where this came from. Here’s #101: I can’t get too much more personal without a box of tissues. 



1. Eat popcorn without regretting it.

2. Put something away properly unless I’ve moved it around, stepped over it or stared at it for 4.5 days.

3. Say the “F” word.

4. Drink Diet Pepsi without gagging.

5. Watch my husband’s favorite movie “Wings of Desire” without falling asleep.

6.  Sleep on my stomach.

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7. Whistle.

8. Play any musical instrument with skill.

9. Stop picking my cuticles.

10. Find my Mary Kay moisturizer (I think I left it the hotel last weekend).

11. Tolerate small talk for longer than five minutes.

12. Look at my children without smiling

13. Follow technical directions without a picture.

14. Watch local or national news without feeling nauseous.

15. Endure animals of any kind.

16. Properly take care of plants.

17. Get excited about Google+

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18. See without my glasses.

19. Completely trust others.

20. Give advice without sounding a little judgemental.

21. Take correction without getting just a teensy bit defensive.

22. Ski.

23. Run. Yet. The ankle that I broke last March is still really sore.

24. Figure out an efficient system for keeping track of socks for seven people.

25. Tolerate people who have narcissistic tendencies.

26. Get excited about science projects in my home school.

27. Keep calm when I see a mouse in my house.

28. Remember much about my babies except how tired I was.

29. Express myself on holidays that require an emotional response, such as Thanksgiving or Memorial Day because emotional manipulation is a trigger for my PTSD.

30. Help feeling a little sorry for myself after reading this list.

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31. Say the phrase, “You go, girl!”

32. Listen to pop music for even a second.

33. Get excited about “what dog I am” quiz on Facebook.

34. Imagine life without Costco.

35. Picture my husband with hair.

36. Ever get a tattoo. I know it’s trendy. I know I probably have a high tolerance for pain after five kids, but I think I would keep wanting to wash it off.

37. Wear pierced earrings for longer than a day without my ears getting itchy.

38. Visit my hometown without having an anxiety attack.

39. Drop my r’s like a Massachusetts native. “Mahc, pahk the cah!”

40. Find southern country sausage in local grocery stores.

41. Use an electric pencil sharpener without it eating my pencils.

42. Give up my Burberry handbag I found at a thrift store for $10. It looks more winter than spring, but it’s big and classy and I love it.

43. Balance a checkbook.

44. Keep from wearing my heart on my sleeve.

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45. Remember to wash my kids’ faces before we leave the house.

46. Hold my alcohol.  I’m good for two drinks.  Then I get really sleepy.

47. Eat hot dogs.  They make my stomach hurt. (30 fat grams each! No loss there!)

48. Eat bologna. Same reason.

49. Get excited about smoothies.

50. Tolerate artificial sweetener.

51. Watch “Frozen” again.

52. See myself without a specific faith.

53. Believe how enjoyable my children are.

54. Believe that my oldest kid may be taking college courses next year as a high school junior.

55. Make pizza from scratch without questioning if it is really worth all the trouble.

56. Look at all of my millions of freckles without suspicion.

57. Bear the thought of sending my kids to school.

58. Tolerate over-attachment to stuff.

59. Scrapbook.  I have photos in chronological order.  That’s the best I can do.

60. Read Better Homes and Gardens without intense skepticism. Particularly the articles about parenting!

61. Watch violent acts on television or in movies.

62. Look at the last 400 pages of Les Miserables as my cure for insomnia. Hm, maybe I can?

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63. Swim well.

64. Feign interest in Harry Potter.

65. Enjoy myself fully in a crowd of more than four or five people.

66. Get to 2048. I got as far as 1024 a few times though.

67.  Get all of the jokes or references regarding the Boston Red Sox that are mentioned at my church events.

68. Find a working ink pen in this house.

69. Hike for a while because of my ankle history.

70. Seem to get through a Sunday at church without someone sticking their stuff in my bag. “I’m not your locker, people!”

71. Enjoy orange soda and hamburger relish.  Separately. And together.

72. Go anywhere without a notebook and a writing utensil.

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73. Run my household without the help of my children.

74. Find matching comforters for my boys’ beds that I like.

75. Use my wedding china.  It’s been in storage for seven years.

76. Sew.

77. Seem to acquire enough shoes.

79. Go to my local thrift store without buying something pink.

80. Have a Martha Stewart Christmas — even though my intentions are good.

81. Stand Whoopi Goldberg

82. Send or keep Christmas cards.

83. Think about flying without getting a little anxious.

84. Enjoy a church service when my children are touching, grabbing or holding me.

85. Help but stick my nose in my daughter’s script-writing projects for her puppet shows.

86. Homeschool without the internet.

87. Identify any birds by their songs.

88. Buy my children socks and underwear for Christmas.

89. Wear anything with writing on it.

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90. Actually type in ‘LOL’ or ‘ROFL’.

91. Tolerate the flavor of children’s toothpaste.

92. Work in my kitchen without wearing an apron.

93. Find my children’s birth certificates.

94. Help but suspect that all of my friendships are hanging by a thread and one careless word from me will destroy them forever.

95. Find any peace in that last statement.

96. Give myself a pedicure.

97. Afford a professional one.

98. Believe all of the nice people I’ve met through this blog. I am blessed!

99. Have sandwiches for lunch. We’re out of bread.

100. Touch my dining room table, my boy’s hands or handles on my kitchen cabinets without feeling a mysterious stickiness.

There’s a lot more. But I’m going to stop at 100. What can’t you do? 

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8 Responses to “100 Things I Can’t Do, By Katharine Grubb”

  1. Wow, what a list – so pleased to read no. 64! I was beginning to think I was the only one that couldn’t do this! You may also be pleased to hear that I have children aged 8 and 9 and have only got rid of one of the things in your number 69 and that only happened last year at a carboot sale (the porta-crib)!!

  2. Do you know that you have MORE than 100 things listed? You repeat some numbers in the 70′s. I am with you on numbers:

    1, 3. 6, 7, 8, 13, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 38, 43, 44, 45, 46, 50, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 63, 65, 74, 77, 74#2, 76#2, 77#2, 80, 81, 83, 86, 87, 88, 89, 93, 96, 97, 98, 100.

    However, I can say “You go, girl” — it’s a Southern California thing.

    If you substitute “country music” for “pop music,” I’m with ya.

    Grammar I can do. Adverbial conjunctions are my life.

    Harry Potter is also my life. You’ve gotta go there. Amazing plotting.

    I adore Christmas cards, both the sending and receiving. I even hand-address mine with a special dip pen and green or red ink — have never missed a year since married 24 years ago.

    But otherwise, we’re soul sistahs. ;)

  3. PS I’ve contemplated a small Celtic cross tattoo on the outside of my right ankle. I’ll never do it, but I’ve contemplated it. :)

  4. Kathy

    Ooops! Apparently, counting is another thing I can’t do! ; )
    And this was AFTER I read it four times!

  5. I can’t:

    1. Skate well. And I tried, for years.
    2. Listen to music except when I’m driving my car, and then only the worst kind of pop music.
    3. Listen to Christian radio stations. The politics! The sports!
    4. Watch Big Bang Theory. That show is like nails on a chalkboard.
    5. Write sappy stuff about my family on Facebook.
    6. Pronounce “water” like an American.
    7. Do pushups.
    8. Give up social media.

    I could go on.

  6. Ariel

    I’m not sure I believe you! After seeing how much you write, how many kids you raise, and how often you organize the fb & twitter groups, I’m pretty sure you can do anything :) . And think about getting a Whirley pop popcorn maker – practically guilt free popcorn!

  7. What a fun list!

    Didn’t work, though. I still can’t help thinking of you as a Super Mom.

    Guess that’s something I’ll have to put on my own “can’t” list.

  8. Katharine

    Aw, thanks guys! Ariel, there isn’t a popcorn in the world that won’t get stuck in my teeth. But thank you for the suggestion. :)

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